Unnecessary Long Call Duration: Is Your Call Center Suffering Too?

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A new year has started and as a head of a call center you want to start on a positive note. Good practices go a long way to make any year a successful one. The sure way to do this is to embark on a data driven approach. Data involving numbers and performance of call center operations can be measured by call center Key Performance Indicators or as they are popular trade lingo, KPIs.

Average Call Duration

The Average Call Duration refers to average amount of time call center agents spend on line with the callers. When it comes to inbound calls, this metric is measured from the instant any agent answers a call and continues until caller hangs up. It is measurable on any individual basis, by the ring group, or overall call center.

Describing optimal average of call duration

This number shows a wide variation and is dependent on multiple factors, like the philosophy of your company and the industry standards. If you want an accurate measurement, and find out the suitable average call duration, you should do the analysis of call center benchmarking.

The standard philosophy about an average call is that the time should be minimized as possible. If this is followed, both the call center agents and customers have to squander their time. Clients can continue what they were doing and agents can also improve the efficiency.

Even though it is a reasonable philosophy, it can occasionally clash with call centers that follow customer centric ethos. If you seek to personalize the value system of your company, then the decision to minimize call duration as an umbrella policy is an inadvisable move.

To put it short, fundamental causes of too long durations should be solved. There are a number of call center mistakes which unnecessarily lengthen the calls leading to frustration, not only among your customers, but also among the call center agents.

Difficulty in retrieving client information

To solve the client issue, you should know a few things about the customer- contact history, name and account information. If information about these matters are not instantly available, agents must find out by having the customers offer such data. It takes a little amount of time to spell out first and last name or list the account number figure by figure.

The solution is to get a better system. Your software is failing you when call center agents spend an excessive amount to access the customer information.

Unsatisfactory routing

A number of companies utilize IVR systems to make sure that callers connect with appropriate agents. The agents themselves can be tagged through a number of methods, frequently using skills centric tags which correspond to the ring groups. These settings are there to avoid the incidence of callers trying to speak to agents who are inadequately equipped to solve their requirements.

There could be an inordinate time waste and can contribute to extremely lengthy call durations if the caller is helped by call agent. The person may not have knowledge of the steps involved, but could feel forced to hold the customer and not transfer the call. This has a negative impact on the call center health.

You need more than call routing features to get out of this rut. You should be in a position to customize the solutions so that the varying requirements of the company are met. It is moronic to waste both customers’ and agents’ time to mismatch needs and skills. A good software solution permits flexibility in the routing settings.

Inadequate training of call center agents and the assurance of quality

Call center agents who are uninformed or ill-equipped may fumble when responding to requests made by clients. Time is spent working on the problems by themselves and not swiftly providing a response. In case there is a simple answer, the agent must give immediately and allow the customer to move along.

This issue is the result of insufficient training programs. These are also the result of a lack of the initial handholding. High churn rates are sometimes found in call centers and there are seasonal employees. Good training programs must be put in place to accommodate the new hires as the duration of calls are not unnecessarily extended.

The solution is to employ advanced call center solutions which permit managers to gather data and give the new hires a view of what an optimal performance is in actuality. Software features like call monitoring, call barging and call recording permit the new agents to take calls in the presence of safety net. Managers of call centers are also empowered to view statistics and flag the struggling agents.

Do keep in mind that managing a call center could be extremely hard. Use KPIs to filter stress and assist you to make the data driven decisions.

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